Conversational Analysis as a Method for Research on Intercultural Learning: A Report on a Project with the Aim of "Learning by Undertaking Research"


  • Gabriele Berkenbusch Westsächsischen Hochschule



conversational analysis, intercultural learning, learning by investigating


Conversational analysis—situated between pragmatic linguistics and qualitative empirical research—is a complex method, which needs a lot of time and dedication. It is necessary to develop a so-called “analytical mentality”. The aim of the project presented in this paper was to develop the theoretical insights and the practical skills of a group of students for this kind of research. They worked together throughout the duration of the project, especially in the collec¬tion of empiric material: i.e. the recording of conversations between foreign and German stu¬dents, the transcription of the material, a group discussion on the data and finally its analysis. This articles aims at showing what students can learn by doing this kind of work, based on examples of the collected empirical material: (1) they will be introduced to the different levels and stages of the research process and have the chance to develop a methodical and methodological competence; (2) their general communicative competences and their special competences of the foreign language will increase, as well as (3) their knowledge of intercultural learning by working with authentic data of intercultural communication. So, for instance, stereotypes and how they have been constructed during the interaction may be analysed and precisely described on a micro-analytical level. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0901335


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Author Biography

Gabriele Berkenbusch, Westsächsischen Hochschule

Gabriele BERKENBUSCH ist seit dem Jahr 2000 Professorin für Romanische Sprachen mit dem Schwerpunkt Wirtschafts­spanisch an der Westsächsischen Hochschule in Zwickau. Ihre Lehr- und Forschungssprachen sind Spanisch, Französisch und Katalanisch. Ihre For­schungsfelder sind: Sprachwissenschaftsgeschichte, Soziolinguistik, Konver­sations­analyse, Methoden der empirischen Sozialforschung, Interkulturelle Kommu­nikation, Wirt­schafts­kommunikation und Gewaltfreie Kommunikation. Sie hat in un­ter­schiedlichen Bereichen Lehrforschungsprojekte durch­geführt und war Mitbe­grün­derin und lang­jährige Koordinatorin des IDA – Interdisziplinärer Arbeitskreis für Hochschul­di­dak­tik an der Universität Tübingen.



How to Cite

Berkenbusch, G. (2009). Conversational Analysis as a Method for Research on Intercultural Learning: A Report on a Project with the Aim of "Learning by Undertaking Research". Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(1).



Application, Innovation, Reflection and Training of Qualitative Methods